Lost Property: How a bucket saved my teacher sanity!

28 June 2016 / Leave a Comment
A quick and easy tip for keeping your student's area and classroom clean and not losing your sanity in the process! www.classroomtestedresources.com
Do your students find stuff and give it to you?

"Here Miss Vincent, I found a crayon."
-Um...thanks?
"Miss Vincent, is this your glue stick?"
-No...my glue never gets stuck in the lid
"Here's some dirt."
-What?! 

Ok...that last one never happened.  
But you get the idea!

My students USED to give me all the stuff they found!
And forget about anybody actually claiming something on the ground if I asked whose does this belong to?!!

Enter the Lost Property bucket!
A quick and easy tip for keeping your student's area and classroom clean and not losing your sanity in the process! www.classroomtestedresources.com
Now before you get too excited...
It doesn't actually stop your students from trying to give you stuff.
(It's not a magic bucket!)
BUT...it gives a place for all the stuff to go!

"Miss Vincent, here's a crayon."
-Put it in the Lost Property bucket.
"Miss Vincent, I found somebody's glue top."
-Put it in the Lost Property bucket.
"Miss Vincent, I can't find my scissors!"
-Check the Lost Property bucket.
"Miss Vincent, I don't have a black marker."
-See if there's one in the Lost Property bucket.

Some kids start to do this without involving you!
Which is awesome!!
But you always have those few who never stop bothering asking you!
Do you have any tricks to help with lost items in your classroom?

A quick and easy tip for keeping your student's area and classroom clean and not losing your sanity in the process! www.classroomtestedresources.com

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Starburst Candy Fun with the Rock Cycle

24 June 2016 / Leave a Comment


This is a fun activity to include in your rock cycle unit! It is simple to do and the kids love it. I use this activity primarily with fourth graders but it will work with the Next Generation Science Standards for second and fourth grade. If you teach the rock cycle this lesson is a proven winner no matter which grade you teach!

You will need:
Starburst Candy
Parchment Paper
Toaster OVen

Check out the "rocks" in the toaster oven.


Click HERE for all the details.

This is a fun summer activity for families too. A few Starburst can chase away the clouds on a rainy summer day!

Looking for more resources? Check out these.
If you love chocolate, here is another fun candy rock cycle activity for upper elementary.
Teach Junkie has a lot of resources for primary grades and lower elementary students about the rock cycle here.

Have Fun..Do Science,
Sarah at Science is for Kids
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Too Cool to Think About School....Just Cool Apps

22 June 2016 / Leave a Comment


Yeah I'm right now I'm feeling "too cool to think about school".  I'm 14 glorious days into my well deserved summer vacation.  Vacation seems like the wrong word though.  We have all earned these days---so enjoy them!!  Who am I kidding though?----we all still think about school!!!  Summer gives me a chance to catch my breath and "think" about the coming school year. 

       Although, I have hit up my favorite spot to gather much needed supplies and ideas for next year. 
      Use #targetteachers  and #dollarspot on Instagram to follow more great finds!!!
I can't wait to add these little gems to my word work and math stations



Now onto the cool apps!!

  I would like to share my favorite apps to use during guided reading and even math!! 
I personally use all of these apps with my second graders on a daily basis. Our favorites include Reading Eggs, Brain Pop Jr., Math Blaster, and Sumdog.

            
I've put them all on Favorite Ipad Apps link for convenience.
                          




On a different note I am getting so excited for TpT Orlando!!  
Use #tptorlando16  and  #findmeattpt on Instagram to follow all the fun!
I can't wait to see my CTR friends again this year-missing some others!
Comment below if you'll be there too- I'd love to connect with you!

Happy Summer Everyone!!





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Facebook Tips for Teacher Bloggers

20 June 2016 / 2 comments
I want to start this post with a disclaimer:  I AM SO NOT AN EXPERT.  I "don't know nothing" really- especially when it comes to blogging and social media, as far as being an expert goes. So this is just a few things that I do to help me as a blogger.

Whew.

That feels good to get that off my chest.

So... I should probably rambling and get to the point.  See? So not an expert blogger!



I know many of you guys that blog, also have a variety of social media accounts to share your blog posts and such. Today I am going to focus on Facebook, scheduling posts, and getting yourself organized as a blogger, the easy way.



Why use Facebook?
I have a love/ hate relationship with Facebook.  I get frustrated because I  don't think some of my posts have had enough views.  Finally, I have told myself to get over it.  Even if only 31 people see my post, that is 31 more people that would have seen it than if I had done nothing.  It only costs me my time. It is just a personal decision.


How often should I post?
At one time I was told that you should only post to Facebook once a day.  Apparently, this is because Facebook stops showing posts to your views once you post a new post.

I personally don't find this to be true.  I feel that most of my Facebook posts have a natural "shelf life" and only get views for a few hours.  Maybe some types of posts like memes and shares might get more views over a longer period of time.  However, any posts that I write and publish simple only get responses for about 2-3 hours.

This is all a personal decision and it changes ALL the time as Facebook makes changes.

When should I post?
I find that I can post 2-4 times a day and some will do well and others won't.  No rhyme or reason. The best way to figure out when you should be posting to Facebook is by looking at your Facebook Insights. If you click on posts, it will show the best times and days to post.


How do you find the time to post?
Um, well, see I don't.  I have really odd times for scheduling on Facebook and pinning on Pinterest. I really like when I can sit down for a good 30-45 minutes and focus on one task.  If not I am like that dog in Up.

I also utilize the scheduling feature.  This is my FAVORITE Facebook offers.  I can sit down and schedule TONS of posts all through the month.  Yep, I exposed my "secret." Often I am not even on the computer when  my Facebook posts pop up in your feed!

Want to learn how to schedule? I made this quick little video.


How do you find the content to post?
Now you know a quick way to post so you don't have to chain yourself to the computer.  So, what DO you post? This is my FAVORITE little trick. Once I figured this out, I wanted to hug my computer! It is a huge time saver!

First, I suggest that you make sure you follow several quality teacher Facebook pages.  Ones that really share good, quality content that catches your eyes. I am also part of a few Facebook groups that also share some great articles.  This will make it easier to find good content, because it will just pop up in your feed each night when you are browsing Facebook for fun!

I made this video to show how to use the save link feature to make scheduling a breeze.   Don't know what I am talking about?  Check out this little video!




How do you stay organized with scheduling posts?


I find it easiest to sit own and schedule posts all at one time.  As I post, I will mark it off on my blogging calendar.  This way I know I have posted on the appropriate dates. 


Tehre are all kinds of extras to keep a blogger organized, such as data tracking and a list of possible tax deductions!



You can check out my blog planner on TpT.  Purchase it once and get updates for LIFE!

If you are looking for more blog organization ideas, you can check out this blog post!  I hope this helps keep you organized!



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8 Apps For Your Preschooler

18 June 2016 / Leave a Comment
If you have a preschooler, they are probably drawn to technology like mine are.  I have struggled with trying to limit screen time while allowing my kids to become fluent in technology since it will forever be a part of their lives.  I have found a few apps that I feel comfortable with my preschoolers using and I am excited to share them with you!


ABC Mouse

This app is amazing!  There is so much within the app that we haven't even touched yet.  ABC Mouse does have a monthly fee, but if you are a teacher, you can get a free account.  My kids LOVE going to the zoo with this app and learning about all of the animals.  

Reading Rainbow

If you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, then you are familiar with Reading Rainbow.  This app awesome!  We have only used the free trial so far but even that is so cool!  The free trial comes with access to five books per family while the paid subscribtion includes access to 100s of books and a large array of activities and games.  


PBS Kids

PBS Kids allows your child to have access to all of the PBS Kids programming.  Most of their shows are educational so I don't mind my kids watching.  Their favorite shows on this app are Peg + Cat (math) and Super Why (reading).  It is free to download and free to watch as long as you have access to the internet.  

Disney Junior

The Disney Junior app gives access to Disney Junior programming which is age-appropriate for preschoolers.  There are also games and activities starring the Disney Junior characters.  

Little Writer

Little Writer is a really cool app!  Your child can practice writing with their finger or using a stylus.  There is even an option for you to add you own words.  We have added all of the names of the people in our family. 

Nick Jr.

Nick Jr. is another app that my kids can watch their favorite shows.  It works when they have access to the internet.  It is very kid-friends and easy to navigate.  


Monkey MathSchool Sunshine

I LOVE this app and so do my kids!  You'll find this app to be well worth the couple of dollars it costs to purchase.  I love that I can create different accounts for each of my kids.  The level of difficulty adjusts for their abilities.  As a parent, I can also add or turn off options to create a custom experience depending on what I want my kids to work on.  This Monkey app focuses on math.  

Monkey WordSchool Adventure

This app has all of the same great features as the Monkey math app above, but it focus on reading readiness.  There are a few other Monkey apps that my kids love but the two I featured here are my favorites.  Worth every single penny!

*Disclaimer:  I have an iPad so all of these apps are available on Apple products.  I am not sure if they are also available for android.  

What are some of your favorite apps that you use with your preschooler?  I am always looking for new ones!




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Summer Scavenger Hunt - Exploring Your City

16 June 2016 / Leave a Comment
Students can enjoy this Summer Scavenger hunt with their family or as a class assignment. Have fun "Exploring Your City."

Living in a city has its advantages. There are so many interesting cites to see. Ones that you just don't have time visit during the school year. A summer scavenger hunt is a fun activity to do as a family or students to do as a summer assignment. Many students don't have an opportunity to travel, so this is a great "Staycation" activity. My granddaughter had this assignment before the end of the year. We hurriedly traveled around Austin taking pictures for her scavenger hunt. Because we were so rushed to complete the assignment, we didn't have time to really explore each location.

To take the scavenger hunt a step deeper, try using Google Earth with the activity. Students can share photos of themselves at a landmark plus students can travel to the location using Google Earth.

I suggest that you have a list of 10 different places for your students to visit. You can keep the questions open ended so your students aren't taking pictures of the same location. Also, give the opportunity for students to be creative. For example: Where is your favorite place to swim? Most students' answers will be different.

Students can enjoy this Summer Scavenger hunt with their family or as a class assignment. Have fun "Exploring Your City."

Students can enjoy this Summer Scavenger hunt with their family or as a class assignment. Have fun "Exploring Your City."

For more information on creating a Google Tour or Scavenger Hunt, visit my Sweet Integrations website. (These are steps in creating a Google Lit Trip, but you would do the same thing for a tour or scavenger hunt.)

Students can enjoy this Summer Scavenger hunt with their family or as a class assignment. Have fun "Exploring Your City."
These cute Polaroid photo frames are created by our own Anita Goodwin.

And, don't forget to download your free booklet for your scavenger hunt. 

Students can enjoy this Summer Scavenger hunt with their family or as a class assignment. Have fun "Exploring Your City."




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13 Fabulous Science Websites

14 June 2016 / 3 comments
Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

The web is full of websites that are great for teaching science to our elementary student. But where do you start? Which ones should you use? Which websites are worth your students' time? Which sites offer the best science experience for my students? I am glad you asked! Here is a list of 13 great science websites for elementary students.

1. Scientists at the Smithsonian

All of the different scientist at the Smithsonian talk about their jobs. The site has everything from a Dinosaur Hunter to a Moon Measurer. Love the variety!

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

2. Google Sky

Google Sky is like Google Map except it is a map of the stars. It isn't a live view but is images compiled from tools such as the Hubble Telescope. It has some really cool images and also gives an explanation of what you are seeing.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!


3. Project Noah

This is a website dedicated to having real people- or citizen scientists- document wild life. Wouldn't it be fun to have students submit some pics? Students can upload digital pictures of wild life and a description of their organism from their own backyard!


Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

4. Magic School Bus

The Magic School Bus site has quite a few games and activities relate to science. Students can engage in the Space Chase or get ideas for a science experiment.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

5. Everyday Mysteries

Everyday Mysteries is full of fun science facts from the Library of Congress. The site answers questions such as, "Why does pepper make you sneeze?" and, "How does sunscreen work?"

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

6. San Diego Zoo

The part I like about this website is the Videos and Cams section. Students can watch apes, penguins, tigers and more through live video!

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

7. NASA

NASA has sooooo much! It has so many different sections all created for learning. I especially like the NASA Knows sections. This section has items such as NASA Knows- Astronauts or NASA Knows- Earth. Perfect for our elementary kiddos.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

8. How Everyday Things are Made 

This site is maintained by Stanford. It has a great selection of videos on how everyday items are made. Items range from chocolate to motorcycles.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

9. Sheppard Software

This is a great collection of games related to science. The games include topics such as food chains, life cycles, and seasons.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

10. National Geographic Kids

So much to see on this website! Students can explore videos, stories, bizarre facts, and photos. Very visibly engaging and fun! If you don't check out any other website, make sure to give this one a whirl!

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!


11. Kids Astronomy

This site has all you would need related to astronomy. It has games, photos, and information all related to the universe around us.

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

12. Science Kids

Science Kids has fun facts, quizzes, games, and experiments. A fun site that has it all!

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

13. Science Bob

The Science Bob websites has tips for fun experiments and science fair projects. It also has an Experiment Blog where you can see how real kiddos have tried out the experiments. I especially like the videos- they are fun and engaging!


Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!

Looking for great science websites for your classroom? Here is a list of 13 awesome science websites for elementary students!


What science websites do you use in your classroom? I am always searching for the best websites for my students. I'd love to read about your finds in the comments




Need more science tips? Check out my Crazy about STEM Pinterest board!


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